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2007Book Reviews109 has accomplished a great deal and provides understanding to all of them. The anthropological and regional context of feminism makes for insightful reading for a broad audience. Congratulations to Catherine Lavender for a fine piece of scholarship and writing. Maya Research Program, Fort WorthThomas H. Guderjan Larger Than Life: New Mexico in the Twentieth Century. By Ferenc M. Szasz. (Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2006. Pp. 316. Acknowledgments, illustrations, afterword, notes, index. ISBN 0826338836. $22.95, paper.) Ferenc Szasz's previous ten books have established him as a respected historian of the Atomic West and of religion in the West. With Larger Than Life, Szasz has again brought his lively writing to bear on an interesting subject in an innovative way. This book on the history of New Mexico in the twentieth century is split into four sections: People, Cultures, Atomic New Mexico, and Mysteries. Each section covers topics that at times can surprise one with details about unknown events or people and at other times brings new insight to often told stories. Despite whether a particular topic is well known or not, Larger Than Life expands the history of the Land of Enchantment beyond the boundaries of the state and illustrates how national and even international events and people have impacted New Mexico and conversely, how New Mexico has played an important role nationally and internationally in the twentieth century. Szasz has successfully interwoven the people and events from New Mexico into the wider context of major and minor topics and themes of die past century. The first section, People, shows how Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh visited the state several times in the 1920s. Their visits boosted the state's fledgling aeronautics enterprises (including Robert Goddard's rocket experiments, which now allow New Mexico to claim that it is the birthplace of America's aerospace efforts), and they also produced the first aerial photos of Chaco Canyon. Also in People, Szasz explores the enigmaticj. Robert Oppenheimer and his relationship to the state and then transits to then U.S. Rep. Bill Richardson's early attempts at negotiating tricky settlements. Now governor ofNew Mexico, Richardson continues to use his skills as a negotiator in hot spots around the world. In the Cultures section , Szasz surveys the explosion of cultural efforts, both in high art like Georgia O'Keeffe and in traditional folk art. O'Keeffe called the landscape of New Mexico "die faraway nearby," which could also describe the variety ofcultures that compose modern New Mexico. Szasz suggests that the "charm and uniqueness ofNew Mexico can be traced to the interaction of its various cultures" (p. 118). For the Atomic New Mexico section, Szasz brings wonderful insight into how Los Alamos became a permanent city during the early Cold War period, examines the Atoms of Peace nuclear tests in the state in the 1 960s, and critiques the fascinating photographers who have brought their lenses to bear on the Atomic Age. The last part of Larger Than Lifedelves into three mysteries ofNew Mexico's recent past. Francis Schlatter, a spiritual healer, found many converts in his ramblings noSouthwestern Historical QuarterlyJuly through the region, and after curing hundreds ofpeople, he then disappeared. The second mystery involves the large cliff that hung over Chaco Canyon for centuries until it crashed down on part of Pueblo Bonito in 1941. And finally, Szasz tells us of a litde known munitions explosion that devastated tiny Tolar on the eastern plains of the state in 1944. AU of these aspects and more of New Mexico's twentieth -century history are defdy covered by Szasz in Larger Than Life. His clear prose, keen eye for historic details, and interweaving of the state's past with national and international events are a delight to read. Szasz shows how New Mexico, on the periphery of the nation's attention at the beginning of the last century, became a major player and at times was even at the center of events during World War II and then the Cold War. New Mexico State UniversityJon Hunner A Legacy Greater Than Words: Stories ofU.S. Latinos andLatinas ofthe World WarIIGeneration . Edited by Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez,JulianaA. Torres, Melissa...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 109-110
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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